Spring 2014 President’s Message

Submitted by Tammy Herron, President

Spring is finally in the air, and the warmer temperatures have me yearning to be outside working in the field rather than tied to a desk and computer. I hope this message finds everyone well! If you have not already done so, please take a moment to renew your chapter and SGA memberships by clicking here. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we appreciate your continued support of the SGA and wish to convey to you that the SGA could not provide many of the services of the organization without your contributions.

On that note, I am elated to announce the debut of our new research grant program. This year, the SGA will be sponsoring three student research grants in tandem with the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists (GCPA) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). During the Fall meeting, two grants of $375.00 will be awarded to support undergraduate research projects, and one grant of $2,000.00 will be awarded for thesis or dissertation research. These research grants are competitive awards to support undergraduate and graduate student research that focuses on the archaeology of Georgia. Please see Tom Lewis’ article on the website regarding the research grants, requirements, and submission instructions by clicking here. Please consider making a donation to the Endowment Fund so that we may continue to encourage the study and preservation of Georgia’s rich cultural heritage. To read more about the Endowment Fund click here.

Plans are underway for the 21st Annual Georgia Archaeology Awareness celebration. The theme this year is Site Destruction: Pieces of Our Past Lost Forever. Poster design and compilation of the lesson plan are in the works. A number of interesting events that will be taking place around the state during the month of May have been submitted for the brochure of archaeology-related events. Preparations are also being made for SGA’s annual Spring Meeting at Red Top Mountain near Cartersville, Georgia to be held on Saturday, May 10th. Joseph Roberts has organized an interesting lineup of speakers, including representatives from the archaeological community, law enforcement groups, amateur archaeologists and hobbyist groups, cemetery preservationists, and state and national parks. The presentations will be followed by a time of group discussion from which we hope to garner input for forming a public message regarding site destruction. The group discussion will be followed by the organization’s business meeting. We will enjoy a boxed lunch from Subway; then, head over to Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site for a special tour by Dr. Adam King, Research Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina. Invite a friend to learn more about archaeology in Georgia! I encourage you to pre-register for this educational and entertaining event and look forward to seeing you at the meeting! Visit the website to keep apprised of the Archaeology Month events and Spring Meeting registration that will be posted very soon.

Speaking of Etowah, my husband and I recently assisted Adam with a little metal detecting at the site in an attempt to find remnant nails and pin flags marking previously excavated units. This exercise was conducted in anticipation of a gradiometer survey to be completed soon by Dr. Chet Walker that will look for buried features by measuring subtle variations in magnetism across the site. The SGA looks forward to receiving an update regarding this project.

The staff of New South Associates (NSA) in Stone Mountain has agreed to continue sponsoring Abby the ArchaeoBus through the Spring/Summer of 2014. Mary Beth Reed and Joe Joseph are to be commended for their support of Abby the ArchaeoBus—please thank them the next time you see them! The SGA continues to receive a number of requests for Abby which is very exciting! Nick Joseph serves as Coordinator for Abby’s schedule and is assisted in delivering programs by Lain Graham and Scott Morris, as well as other NSA staff members. In Rita Elliott’s report to the Board, she stated that programming from mid-May through mid-October 2013 included public outreach at 35 venues consisting primarily of libraries and public schools. The bulk of the outreach occurred during the summer at libraries and early Fall at schools. Library outreach was particularly appropriate given the 2013 summer reading themes of “Digging Into Reading” and “Diving Into Reading” that tied in nicely with the theme for Archaeology Month. You can keep track of Abby’s adventures and efforts to educate the public about Georgia archaeology by reading her diary on the website by clicking here.

Please keep in mind that the term of four of the SGA’s Board Members will end in October: Matt Newberry, Lyn Kirkland, Don Thieme, and Inger Wood. If you are interested in serving as a Board Member or have someone in mind for the job, please contact Catherine Long or myself. We look forward to hearing from you and greatly appreciate those who are willing to volunteer their time and talents to make SGA an even better organization.

It is with heavy heart that I report that Pam Baughman resigned a few months ago as Secretary of the organization, but she found a replacement for the job — Melissa McKay. Melissa received a BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a MS in Archaeological Resource Management from the University of Georgia. After graduation, she spent time in the field working on archaeological surveys and excavations in various states in the Southeast. Melissa is a colleague of Pam’s at the Georgia Department of Transportation, which has made the transition easier since they see each other on a daily basis. Pam, we thank you for your dedication and service to the organization—in particular your three years of service as Secretary. We also thank you for providing leadership in a number of other areas including Archaeology Month, the Membership Committee, Public Relations, and assisting with arranging SGA meetings. We will miss you as Secretary, but we know that you are just a phone call or an email away!

Your comments and suggestions aimed at making the SGA the best it can be are always welcome. But, more than that, we need your time and efforts! Please submit archaeology news and chapter information to Ben Steere, Editor of The Profile, so that our membership will be aware of the great things that are happening in the field of Georgia archaeology! Remember, the SGA cannot operate without the support of both the public and private sectors, and it is imperative that we continue to strive to establish communication and collaboration with other organizations to further our mission—to unite all persons interested in the archaeology of Georgia and to work actively to preserve, study, and interpret Georgia’s historic and prehistoric remains.

Lastly, there are two bits of exciting news with regard to Georgia archaeology—but I can’t tell you about them until the end of April! So stay tuned!

Tammy F. Herron, President
P.S. – Just received word that Governor Nathan Deal has proclaimed May 2014 as Archaeology Month in Georgia!